Emerson Lake & Palmer – KBFH Live In Concert: Anaheim 2/2/74

11 Mar

Emerson Lake & Palmer - KBFH Live In Concert DS212p front

Broadcast on the ‘King Biscuit Flower Hour’ show in the USA on 10th March 1974, this show contained extracts from the full concert, which was then used in a more complete form for the 3 LP release “Welcome Back My Friends…”

Many thanks to Carl Plaster for tracking this source down.

Reissue: New source & decode

Release: DS212p

Source: SQ Pre-FM

Process: ‘Phoenix’



39 Responses to “Emerson Lake & Palmer – KBFH Live In Concert: Anaheim 2/2/74”

  1. fjordreject July 18, 2016 at 07:15 #

    Really quite a delight to listen to – ‘Hoedown’ is a standout for me. ‘Karn Evil 9,1st Impression’ really gives a sense of the impressive talent of Keith Emerson, and makes me all the sadder at his passing.

  2. Steven Sullivan March 26, 2016 at 22:58 #

    Revisiting this mysterious and confounding gig yet again…. this DS version appears to be incomplete. The first half of Karn Evil 9, 2nd Impression, is missing. I wonder if the Wolfgang’s vault source, which is complete, would be better candidate for a conversion. http://www.concertvault.com/emerson-lake-and-palmer/anaheim-convention-center-february-02-1974.html

    Right now it can only be streamed, and I have no idea whether a digital capture of the stream is adequate for conversion.

    • oxforddickie March 26, 2016 at 23:37 #

      This release IS complete. It is the KBFH show as it was broadcast, which was an hour long show, and not the “Welcome Back My Friends…” album.

      The digital stream is probably the stereo remix and will be quite heavily compressed to boot.

      • Steven Sullivan March 29, 2016 at 16:24 #

        I was not implying at all that this is supposed to be the ‘Welcome Back’ album (though of course that album *does* draw for the same concert, likely even the same recordings). I know better than that. The Wolfgang’s version *is* the KBFH broadcast, but in a more complete form — similarly, the Wolfgang’s version of the KBFH Dec 11 1974 Yes concert has the complete broadcast plus one track that was not included in the broadcast. The WV ELP set does have a sharp frequency cut off at 15kHz, suggesting lossy compression.

        • oxforddickie March 29, 2016 at 16:45 #

          Indeed the Wolfgang stream IS from the recordings made by King Biscuit back then, but it isn’t the original broadcast mix, which was SQ encoded. All of the concert material streamed by Wolfgang are more recent stereo remixes, which would explain why they chose to extend the material, as they would have the original multi-tracks from the complete concert.

          I think it’s fair to say that ‘Welcome Back..’ used the same recordings as the source, although it had been ‘tweeked’ while mixing the stereo mix (by which i mean that awfull echo on Greg’s voice during Lucky Man’. Thankfully the quad mix didn’t suffer the same fate.

          The CD i used for this release must have been created using one of the four channel tapes that were sent out to radio stations at the time.

          I do have the quad mix from the three Q8’s here, but as everyone knows the masters for tape two was faulty, the speed of the recording during part of Keith Emersons piano solo speeds. It has been on the ‘to-do’ list for quite some time, but i never seem to have the time to do it. One day……

          • Steven Sullivan March 29, 2016 at 17:28 #

            Sorry, but I highly doubt WV ever did or does any remixing of anything. I’ve never seem them claim that. The extensions on the site can simply reflect an original choice to edit for broadcast (time constraints, or bad performance). Whether KB ever had both nonmatrixed and matrixed mixes sources is a question. As for the rest maybe this is semantics? The SQ tapes sent to the stations were ‘four channel’ only in the sense that four channels were matrixed in a two-channel tape format.

            • Craig Smith March 30, 2016 at 00:25 #

              KBFH did send out both matrixed 2 channel and discrete 4 channel reels. There is a gentleman who collects the 4 discrete channel reels and has a significant collection. I could post a link to his web site but I am conscious that OD prefers not to have external links on here.

              • Steven Sullivan March 30, 2016 at 07:42 #

                Wow, news to me, obviously! As best I knew, KB only ever sent out quad matrixed 2 channel ‘pre-FM’ reels for ‘quad’ broadcasts. But why would they send out discrete 4 channel reels?…what stations were equipped to broadcast them and how did they do it? Would love to know more.

        • Carl Plaster March 29, 2016 at 16:56 #

          Steven, sounds like everyone is on the same page, but just getting a little confused in the process. The Vault version is in fact a KBFH broadcast, but more specifically a later re-broadcast that had been remixed. The remixing was done because of the king biscuit encoded stereo tapes being lost in a fire. This encoded imcomplete version is exactly what the original mix/broadcast consisted of.
          With regards to your comment on the Yes broadcast, while it is in fact the entire setlist that is included on the Vault version, the mix of Ritual was most likely done at a much later date and never broadcast, as the waveforms of Ritual are much different looking than all the rest, which are encoded. Would love to get a proper multichannel version of that show at some point. The encoding is so messy that a clean decode is next to impossible.

          • Steven Sullivan March 30, 2016 at 07:51 #

            Let’s assume this is true, it suggests that actual foundational multitrack recordings (I would hope >4 track — 8 or 16 track at least, given the era) existed after the fire. Some of the tracks (like ‘RItual’ from the 12/11/1974) never saw light of day until Wolfgang’s made them available. So either KB had a ‘plain and a matrixed mix back in the day, or mixed them as ‘plain’ stereo after the fire, or WV mixed them even more recently. I find some of those scenarios more incredible than others. But it’s very exciting to think WV might possibly have the original multitracks for these shows.

    • Carl Plaster March 27, 2016 at 16:35 #

      I noticed your comment this morning, and for once I felt qualified enough to make a meaningful contribution. I’ve actually been picking this one apart in the last couple of weeks because of Keiths sudden passing.
      This particular incomplete version you refer to is in fact the original broadcast version of the show. The Vault version you refer to, as well as the commercial king biscuit version and the “front row” dvd-a are all stereo sources. In the past, these have been often considered to be SQ encoded, but I am pretty confident that they are not. It is very easy to think they are encoded, as the multitrack recordings contain a very substantial amount of phase related anomalies in them. Even in the stereo mixes, the drums show up all over the phase spectrum, when ideally they should be focused at around 0 degrees.
      As a result, any decodes will have some toms and cymbals showing up in the back channels, when they should be only in the fronts. I am pretty confident that this is unintentional. I was told at one point by one of the people involved in the mix of the 73 album that the back channels should be audience mikes, reverb returns and occasional Moog, and that was about it.
      The existing Q8 transfers are the only discrete version available at this time. I still hope that someday the four track masters will be released, as the analog mastering problems that were encountered are no longer an issue. If remixes were ever done, the drum tracks would probably benefit from some substantial phase checking, if the tracks were isolated enough to do so. Back then, a huge drum kit and all the mikes involved was definitely a new challenge, and all the potential phase problems they represent would not have been as obvious in a live setting, Ultimately, the phase issues didn’t affect the stereo mix much at all, as I think the drums sound just fine. However, better phasing would probably made the drum sound come “forward” a bit. The ambient sound of the commercial release is due to the fact that the quad mix was collapesed back down to stereo because the quad mastering had to be scrapped, and not because of any drum related issues. The issues that ultimately torpedoed the quad mastering were related to certain sound waves from the moogs being impossible to master in a way that would 1)track cleanly and 2)sound good. Apparently synth related info tripped up more than a few quad projects
      according the people at JVC who did the ELP project.
      Hope this clears some things up.

      • Carl Plaster March 27, 2016 at 17:40 #

        One last item I forgot to mention. The original king biscuit quad mix and the commercial release from ’73 definitely sound a bit different. The king bisuit mix sounds a little less refined than the final mix of the 3lp set. When the original mixes were done, there was one set of quad reels for king biscuit, and one set of quad reels for the band/label. Instead of them being 2 copies of the same mix, it sounds like they might have done 2 mixes. The first, being kind of a quickie, with the second pass for the label taking more time to address things song by song. There has never been any talk of 2 different quad mixes being done (at least not yet.)

      • Steven Sullivan March 29, 2016 at 17:05 #

        Thanks for your insights, they’re very interesting. As to what versions are SQ encoded or not, I gather that for this DS release OD was sent pre-fm audio (presumably a transfer from the matrixed two-track, i.e., ‘stereo, reels sent to FM stations). I rather doubt that KB or Wolfgang’s made a wholly independent ‘stereo only’ (i.e., not matrixed) remixes, for the KB CD or for the stream. But the only way to tell for sure would be to compare the pre-fm files to a lossless download of Wolfgang’s files.

        It would be great if a true 4-track master, or better yet multitrack masters, could ever be found for this concert. Stranger things have happened….

        • Carl Plaster March 29, 2016 at 20:14 #

          Steve, totally fair questions, and I will answer them as best as I can. 1) This release has to be from a matrixed reel that was sent out to the radio stations (It still has the annc. and ads on it.)
          2) The other versions ARE in fact a separate stereo only mix. It was not made by the vault, but by KB in the days before they released all their cd’s in the nineties, meaning, the mix on the ELP biscuit cd is the mix that is the stream, albeit heavily down sampled. ) They made the mixes because they were still in business and needed reels for rebroadcast and eventual sales when the cd business was launched.
          3) For the sake of argument, the Vault has done PLENTY of their own mixes since they acquired the King Biscuit multi’s. I can say this confidently because an engineer friend of mine in Boston did a lot of tape transfers and remixes for them when they were getting started. And I recently ran into another engineer who was involved in similar stuff in NYC back at around the same time.
          4) Compare the files? Yes, I have done that. The main giveaway is the modular moog stuff, which moves around quite a bit in the back speakers during the original version and not the others. The only potentially confusing aspect is that the drums have a lot of phase problems, so with both stereo and quad, they are scattered all over the phase spectrum. In any case, compared sound files are noticeably different.
          5) 4 track master surfacing? Sure would be great. Some discrete 4 track king biscuit reels have in fact surfaced, but not this one yet. Also, during the BSS surround remix that was released a couple of years ago, there was a mention at one point of some live stuff being accidentally included in the BSS materials, but haven’t heard anything since then. Also, the multitrack masters have supposedly been misplaced, but I doubt they could have been lost. The Vault has a large facility out in the LA area I believe, and if the ELP people don’t have it, I bet it is hiding in there somewhere. Once again, it was my understanding that when the live tapes were originally mixed by the band, There was one set of discrete mixes made for King Biscuit, and one set of discrete reels made for the band. I feel that the two sets of reels are two different passes . The biscuit mix is a little less refined, while the band mix pays more attention to the fine details. Eventually, the bands 4 track master was blended down to stereo when the cd-4 mastering didn’t seem to be working out. One final oops. Supposedly the first hasty version of the 3lp live release were stereo with only the front channels, and those had to be quickly yanked (I expect those might have been test pressings that might have gone to a couple of radio stations.

          Keep those questions coming, and make sure to tip your waiters and bar staff. I’m here all week.

          • Steven Sullivan March 30, 2016 at 07:59 #

            OK, forgive me for serial replies (replying to each as I read them , before reading all of them). Personal testimony from the engineers involved pretty much clinches it for me. I’ll accept that both KB and WV have done ‘plain’ remixes of things that were matrixed back in 1974. But your testimony *also* suggests two exciting things 1) WG has access to some multitracks that can be remixed to surround, and 2) multitracks may also exist — I’m guessing more than just ‘quad’ masters, but true original multitracks – that aren’t in WV’s possession.

    • sacdtodvda March 28, 2016 at 10:44 #

      All of the mixes of KBFH shows at Wolfgang’s Vault will be stereo. The original quad mixes were lost in a warehouse fire and will only turn up on reels sent out to radio stations or broadcasts recorded off the air.

      • Steven Sullivan March 29, 2016 at 16:41 #

        No on is saying the mixes on Wolfgang’s aren’t stereo! But the KBHF broadcast was ‘stereo’ too– the quad encoding was matrixed (supposedly SQ) in a two-track source, so unless you had a decoder you did not get quad, you got the ‘stereo mix’. It wasn’t like the radio stations were sent the 4-track quad master mix tapes (which alas seem to be lost to fire). The question (for me) is whether the KB ‘stereo’ audio, on Wolfgang’s , is matrixed quad that could be decoded too, esp if it was available in lossless form. Jsut as matrixed ‘stereo’ recordings (like Synergy, etc) have been from CDs, by OD. As for other versions, the mastering of the KB CD is *quite* different from the Wolfgang’s set, heavily compressed in dynamic range for one thing. For the Welcome Back release, there were definitely studio tricks added — globs of reverb on Lake’s voice for example. I suspect the WV KB recording is the most ‘pure’ version of this , in terms of EQ and dynamic range.

        • oxforddickie March 29, 2016 at 16:56 #

          Comments must have crossed while travelling around the world… LOL

          OK, hopefully we can put this one to bed….

          The KBFH broadcasts of this show WERE SQ encoded. There is no question of it being anything else. I think it’s fair to say that it’s not correct to call the broadcast ‘Stereo’ as it’s really an SQ quad broadcast, even though most people would have heard it in stereo, as they would do if they played an SQ LP on their stereo system. Exactly the same.

          Hopefully the question of whether the Wolfgang stream of this concert is SQ has now been answered. One thing about i wrote about the CD i used is slightly wrong. It was obviously created from one of the SQ encoded tapes they sent out to radio stations that probably didn’t have their own encoder.

          • Steven Sullivan March 29, 2016 at 17:15 #

            Yes, OD, it is encoded quad, but the actual physical media it was broadcast from was two-track tape — just as Synergy is on CD in two track, but can be decoded to quad. That’s all I mean. What I question is this idea that there was ever some *separate* stereo mix (or remix) of the KB show that was NOT simply the matrixed SQ version in remastered form.

            • oxforddickie March 29, 2016 at 17:18 #

              As i said a few replys ago, the stream of this show, like all of the other previously SQ encoded shows, is a more recent stereo mix, which means the original multi’s are slowly rotting away in a vault somewhere.

  3. ultimatetrouble March 13, 2016 at 12:14 #

    Didn’t know where else to post this, but I heard recently Keith Emerson committed suicide due to some health issue that would leave him unable to perform any more. I thought I would see it mention on the blog. Unless I missed it. Thanks šŸ™‚

    • oxforddickie March 13, 2016 at 12:24 #

      Yes, it’s a very sad piece of news.

      Sorry i didn’t post it here, some of you may have noticed my lack of involvement recently. It’s not been a good time here, added unfortunately with the death of my mother, which has in its self caused some problems.

      I will try to be a little more interactive, there are a few comments i need to reply to.

      • ultimatetrouble March 13, 2016 at 20:36 #

        I’m very sorry for your loss OD, that is very sad. I lost my mum in 1995, I sure miss her very much. Theres no need to explain or worry about the blog. I’m sure everyone here understands your situation. God bless you and your family in this the time of need. Sending prayers across the pond.

  4. prefabfan March 24, 2015 at 00:47 #

    Sam i the only one getting no dl despite settings being double checked?

  5. Owen Smith March 21, 2015 at 14:09 #

    This is great. I’ve had trouble “getting” ELP in the past, but this is much better. Only the last track and a half lost me a bit. The quad mix is good and fairly active compared to other live shows, there is some panning of intruments into the rears in a way that naturally enhances the music. The recording is high quality, just a bit of tape hiss around the start of track 6. Phoenix does a good job of sorting it all out and I can hear the auditorium quite clearly both with the audience and reverb returning from the back of the hall.

    Well worth finding that new source, thanks Carl!

  6. gjwAudio March 13, 2015 at 05:56 #

    Well, well, well OD – I just could not resist the Siren Song of this release… Am now blasting it through my 2.1 desktop system and grinning like a fool !!

    “Brain Salad Surgery” got a LOT of spins in my youth, and so this live performance is an amazing touchstone with those days. Thank You – and to Mr. Plaster for “finding” this source (…would love to know the back story).

    Until my Hi-Fi is back in action, I must suffer with foobar2000 and simple 2-CH PB, however, I look forward with GREAT anticipation to hearing this – and the many other releases you’ve offered over the past nine months – in all their four-corner glory !

    Your continued crusade to bring these gems to a wider audience is heroic, and I appreciate the effort you put in, as much as the fine results you put out.

    Thanks šŸ™‚

  7. joeerand March 12, 2015 at 06:20 #

    Thank you for this!

  8. trylucius March 11, 2015 at 14:59 #

    Welcome back my friend – hope all is well in your digital world!

    • oxforddickie March 11, 2015 at 15:16 #

      I’m back, sort of, but not as was. Am using a slow aging laptop at the moment, but have discovered all the main files i keep that are blog related have gone.

      Am still looking for something that doesn’t keep thinking about whether or not it wants to do anything………….

  9. g335 March 11, 2015 at 14:21 #

    “Welcome Back My…” always seemed to sound mediocre to me on the stereo 3 LP set. Thanks OD for this ‘Phoenix’ and CP for providing the Pre-FM. Appreciate it! šŸ™‚

  10. jaypfunk March 11, 2015 at 13:48 #

    How does this one compare to the previously posted DS212f??

    • oxforddickie March 11, 2015 at 14:10 #

      As it says it’s a new source and decode. Basically it’s superior in almost every way.

    • Owen Smith March 11, 2015 at 14:19 #

      I understand about the new decode process. But what makes this source better than the previous one? Eg. Was that recorded over the air from FM or similar?

      • oxforddickie March 11, 2015 at 14:24 #

        As it says the source is ‘Pre-FM’, basically a copy of the broadcast tape.

      • Owen Smith March 11, 2015 at 18:36 #

        OK, so what was the previous release source from?

        • oxforddickie March 11, 2015 at 19:43 #

          Was supposed to have been a high quality recording (probably FM) from a ‘CD’. Carl and i have swapped a few words regarding this title and i believe the only way this can be improved upon is from a good quality, eq’d free Q4

          • Carl Plaster March 13, 2015 at 12:43 #

            To Owen, the differences between the old decode and new decode are basically this- the new version is a completely different mix than the previous version. The difference is not just the decode process. Still trying to find more info to pass along, but this mix is more blatantly 4 channel than the previous.

            • sullis02 March 15, 2015 at 20:26 #

              I’ve got all these to compare :
              1) original WBMF album mix (K2 mastering, CD)
              2) King Biscuit Flower or Present : Emerson , lake & Palmer (2 CD set released in 1997) — contains Hoedown, Still, You Turn Me On, Lucky Man, Piano Improvisation, Karn Evil 9
              3) Wolfgang’s vault version of the same set as 2.
              4) From the Front Row-Live! (2004 DVDA) ‘5.1’ versions of the KBFH CD — probably upmixes.
              5) A fan’s decoding/conversion of the Q8 8-track
              5) DS212f
              6) DS212p
              There seem to be at least 3 sources/mixes involved here. they differ in EQ, amount of echo, and (except for the 2 ch mixes) in surround strength …it’s quite curious. Still investigating.

              • Carl Plaster March 16, 2015 at 05:13 #

                3 sources/mixes sounds right, with DS212p being different from all the others mentioned in the previous post.

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